Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     This week we share another fragile newspaper item found in the Opal and Lester Saffell family papers, currently held in a private collection in Lubbock, Texas. The article apparently appeared in the Red Oak Express, a newspaper published in Red Oak, Montgomery County, Iowa. Since Carl died about 21 March 1915, the item probably appeared in the paper in late March 1915.

     (Genealogists should be aware that some punctuation has been added or changed for clarity and readability. All-caps for surnames are used for emphasis.)

“Drowning Was Not Cause of His Death

 Carl Berg Thought to Have Fallen in Water as Result of Stroke of
Apoplexy or Paralysis—Funeral Held at Home Monday Afternoon

     The exact cause of the death of Carl BERG, nine-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. BERG of this city, an account of whose death at Eagle Lake, Fla., on Tuesday of last week was given in last week’s Express, will never be known, as there was no one with him at the time of his death. It was at first thought that he had been drowned, but there was very little water found in his lungs when he was taken from the lake into which he had fallen....The attending physician at the Florida home stated that the child must have suffered a stroke of apoplexy or paralysis or died of heart failure before falling into the water....

     The accident happened at 2 o’clock in the afternoon at the pier of the lake about one hundred feet away from the Berg summer home while Mrs. Berg and a lady friend were sitting on the porch. Carl was playing on the pier, waiting until time for him to take his afternoon swim, which he was accustomed to taking each day. He had gone up to the house and asked how soon he could put on his bathing suit and go into the water, and having been told to wait a few minutes, he went back to the pier again to play.

     Finally, when the mother did not see her boy...she began to look around for him but did not become alarmed...until after a careful search of the premises had been made and he could not be located. No fear was felt that he had fallen into the water, as he was always very careful when near the lake. Several persons were engaged in the search and, when after nearly three hours of hunting they could not find the boy, they went, as a last resort, to the lake where they found his lifeless body near the pier [part of article missing} water about three feet deep.

     Carl had always been in delicate health, and it was for his benefit that the summer home in Florida was purchased. Since going down there with his mother several weeks ago, he had shown marked improvement, having gained fifteen pounds in weight, and it was thought that he would soon be strong and well....He had already made a large number of friends there and was making many plans for his return there in the fall after spending the summer at the home here in Red Oak.

     Mr. and Mrs. Berg arrived home with the remains on No. 9, Saturday evening, Mr. Berg having left here for Chicago, Thursday evening, where he met his wife on her return from Florida. The funeral was held at the home at 310 W. Reed Street at 2:30 o’clock on Monday afternoon, Rev. F. N. WILLIS having charge of the services.

     Carl was born in Red Oak on December 31, 1906, and was 9 years, 2 months, and 21 days of age at the time of his death. The pall bearers at the funeral were Thos. LUMB (sic), Jr.; Dwight KIDDER; Philip RATHBONE; Norman SAINT; Mervin BALLARD; and James PILKINGNTON; and the singing was by Mrs. E. S. FOSTER and Mrs. F. J. BRODBY. Interment was made in Evergreen Cemetery.

     Many friends extend deepest sympathy to the bereaved parents in their sorrow over the loss of their only child.”


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